A Work In Progress, Michigan Endures Growing Pains

Russ HartleyContributor IOctober 26, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 24:  Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines gets taken down for a sack by Josh Hull #43 of the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 24, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The match-up Saturday between Michigan and Penn State answered some lingering questions asked by Wolverine fans everywhere, "Are we back?"

This of course means is Michigan back? The result gave a very clear answer, no they are not. These questions began when Michigan started off the season 4-0. Since then the boys in blue have lost three of their last four games. It was against tough opponents such as; Penn State and Iowa. But the normal Michigan would have beaten MSU in Week Five, and would have beaten another tough opponent. This, they did not do. There is no question that the Wolverines are improving, they are 5-3 and are much better than their 3-9 record last season. It will just take some time.

Denard and Tate continued to make mistakes against the Lions, and reminded the nation that they were talented, but talented freshman. Freshman are rarely perfect, or flawless, but the new quarterback situation this year is much more comfortable compared to last season.

The running attack of the Wolverines wasn't bad, and was most of the Wolverine's offensive production. Michigan started off the game by scoring a touchdown the first drive provided by the running attack, and then the coaching staff decided to throw the ball.

Before I go on, I would like to state that I believe in Rich Rod and fully support what he is doing, saying that, I have questioned his play calls. Even the fans know that Denard Robinson isn't an established quarterback and can't complete passes, unless they are screens. He is very talented, quick, and athletic, but hasn't proven himself as a good decision maker. He is a freshman, but the Michigan community doesn't have patience for failure.

The coaching staff continued to pass the ball, even though it almost always resulted in a three and out possession. The defense as well, didn't play up to standards, and was dissapointing Saturday, to say the least.

Michigan's next two games are against Illinois and Purdue, two very win-able games. Michigan should finish 7-5, or 8-4, if they can pull an upset in the last two games (Wisconsin & OSU). The maize and blue is a much better team this year, and will soon regain its powerhouse reputation, but for now they remain a work in progress.

Michigan 10, PSU 35

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